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50 ways to love your liver!
(Well, more or less…)
Some of the things that go wrong with your live and how to fix them
Liver dysfunction causes: Liver dysfunction leads to chronic poor health, disease and death. Symptoms of a toxic and sluggish liver can be vague, but chronic fatigue and/or increased irritability are good indicators of liver trouble. Mainstream medicine only tests for major problems such as hepatitis, sclerosis and fatty liver. Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners are far and away better at diagnosing liver problems in their early phases.
The liver has two distinct functions: Number one is it is the body's main blood filter/detoxifier. Number two is that the liver is the body's primary fat metabolizer. When the liver becomes overloaded with toxins and other burdens, it becomes sluggish and fatty. At this point it cannot perform either of these functions well and health declines slowly at first, gaining momentum as the body becomes even more toxic. Not only does the weight pack on but when you try to lose weight, you feel horrible as your liver deals with the stored toxins and fat.
Eating unhealthy food makes for unhealthy humans. A high fat-meat based diet (primarily animal fat) will cause the liver to decline over time. Just as your body stores toxins in fat, so do unhealthy animals. Animal fats contain the toxins that were trapped by the animal’s body. When we eat unhealthy animals we damage our livers and bring poor liver function on ourselves.
Artificial sweetener use: We have all been told the same lie that artificial sweeteners have zero calories that will help us reduce caloric intake and lose weight. However, artificial sweeteners lead to poisoned livers and long term weight gain. Your body knows how to digest food sugars but artificial sweeteners are chemicals that bypass normal digestive stages and as a chemical are immediately taken to the liver. The liver then has to shut down all other metabolic processes, including metabolizing fat, to process the invading poison. The unprocessed fats in the liver are either released post-haste into the blood stream to be stored in fat deposits of unprocessed material or they bind to the liver.
Too much alcohol: A big culprit behind a fatty liver is excessive alcohol. Fatty liver is only the beginning which culminates in cirrhosis.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications: Prescription and over-the-counter medications have major adverse effects on the liver. (Have you noticed almost all of the drug commercials mention liver function?) All drugs are detrimental to the liver. Drugs work by causing disruption in both the disease and the healing pathways. Drugs work by malfunction and ultimately cause health dysfunctions, like weight gain, cirrhosis and liver failure. Treat the cause of the “disease” and the symptoms of the condition go away.
Still having trouble losing weight? Poor liver function ultimately leads to malfunction of the liver and fatty liver. This makes weight gain continue weight loss unlikely. If you are diligently exercising and eating right but still struggling to lose weight, let’s check the liver function. Liver function is one of the highest priorities for healthy weight loss and the most overlooked aspect of weight management.
Cleanse and strengthen the liver: Here are some cleansing and strengthening methods for the liver and gall bladder system.
Coffee enemas: Critical to any cancer battle. The Gerson health protocol uses it daily. Coffee enemas cause the liver to dump toxins, stimulate toxic bile flow out of the liver, promote glutathione production via palmitic acid, dilate capillaries in the liver to nourish liver cells, promote immediate pain reduction in the body and infuse lots of antioxidants.
Liver flush and cleansing: A series of liver cleanses will flush gallstones and fatty globules from the gall bladder and liver. It is not uncommon to flush several hundred stones the first round. <http://realhealthtalk.com/liver_cleanse.html>
Vitamin C for the liver: Vitamin C is critical for liver health. Man does not produce his own vitamin C and relies on diet and supplementation for his supply. Studies show that large quantities of vitamin C flushes fats out of the liver and repairs liver damage. Avoid all corn-based vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in the detoxification and removal of the by-products of biological processes and other toxic substances from the liver. Liver detoxification has two phases. In phase I toxins are reduced to less harmful particles through hydrolysis, reduction and oxidation. Lots of free radicals are formed in this process that destroys liver cells. Ascorbic is critical in Phase I detoxification to neutralize the free radicals and protect cells from the oxidative damage.
R- Alpha lipoic acid (R-ALA) for the liver: In phase II detoxification, the reduced particles are bound to sulphate, glycine and glutathione to form non-toxic substances to be excreted in bile. R-ALA, has been long used to treat serious liver diseases. Unlike other antioxidants, ALA is both fat and water-soluble to bind with free radicals in a lean liver or in a fatty liver. R-ALA helps to regenerate other antioxidants to combat liver inflammation even as it increases the body’s production of glutathione. R-ALA reduces elevated liver enzymes to restore them to normal.
Glutathione for the liver: Glutathione is the “master antioxidant”. Glutathione is also a phase II detoxification helper and is a powerful antioxidant that helps every cell in the body defend against toxicity and is critical for those living with chronic liver disease.
N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) for the liver: NAC benefits acetaminophen-related acute liver failure and hepatic induced non-acetaminophen comas in double-blind trials. NAC helps defeat toxic overload and restore liver function.
Lecithin helps the liver emulsify fats. Avoid soy based lecithin to avoid GMOs and use instead, sunflower lecithin.
B vitamins for the liver: All the B complex vitamins are helpful for liver health but especially methylcobalamin- B12, which helps hepatitis patients. Avoid all cyanocobalamin as it is bound to cyanide and hurts the liver and also shorts the body of methyl groups.
Lemon water for the liver: To stimulate a sluggish liver, Chinese medicine uses sour tasting foods to induce liver health. Squeeze half a lemon into room temperature water and drink without sweeteners before breakfast and lunch.
Minimize alcohol consumption and drink only in moderation.
Enzymes for the liver: There are over 500 chemical reactions going on in your liver at any given moment and each reaction is dependent upon enzymes functioning properly. You’re acid/alkaline tide in necessary to make this happen. When the body is chronically acid or alkaline, either one, this causes mineral shortages in the body that hurt enzyme functions. <http://realhealthtalk.com/correcting_the_pH.html>
Cilantro tablets for the liver: Cilantro will move heavy metals out of the tissues and chlorella tablets will bind to the metals to remove them. Take 4-6 tabs of cilantro after breakfast followed in two hours or so with 4-6 tabs of chlorella. Do the same thing after lunch.
Things that cause liver problemsMercury Amalgam fillings interfere with liver function with toxic metal burden and liver enzyme killing mercury vapors. Safe removal of amalgam fillings is critical to assure healthy liver function. Selenium is a trace mineral critical for enzyme function that will be lacking in the presence of mercury amalgam. <http://realhealthtalk.com/cancer_heavy_metals.html>
Low thyroid function slows the liver function and also hurts proper enzyme function which requires 98.6 degrees for optimal function. <http://realhealthtalk.com/thyroid_basics.html>
Iron overload congests the liver and raises oxidation levels in the whole body. This produces a double-whammy in that it also shorts the whole body and the liver of critical vitamin C that the liver desperately needs. <http://realhealthtalk.com/regulating_iron.html>
Gluten intolerance causes inflammation in the liver and also slashes thyroid levels. There may be no outward manifestation whatsoever of gluten intolerance and the problem can build for years and make a lifetime of subclinical problems. <http://realhealthtalk.com/gluten_free_lecture_notes.html>
Things to do for a healthy liverAvoid High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) at all costs. HFCS is made predominantly from GMO corn and sometimes with a mercury-based process. 100% of all HFCS is processed in the liver. Any “syrup” sweetener including agave syrup is technically a “high fructose” product that is processed by the liver.
Love your liver! Nourish the liver with fresh citrus and veggie juices, milk thistle, and natural licorice. Cayenne and lemon juice or cayenne and vegetable juice is a great liver nutritive.
Colon cleansing: Keep extra toxins out of your liver-filter by keeping a clean colon. Eat lots of fiber to keep the digestive system flowing which will also increase metabolism and aid the liver function.
Herbs for the liver:
Milk thistle and dandelion root: These two herbs are commonly used to protect and cleanse the liver. Milk thistle is the protector, and dandelion root is the cleanser and can be taken separately. Many liver supplements contain both of these.
Blessed Thistle: This powerful herb heals the liver , purifies the blood , improves circulation, promotes flow of bile, alleviates inflammation.
Burdock Root is a blood purifier that also restores liver and gallbladder function while stimulating the immune system.
Dandelion is a liver and blood cleanser that helps with fluid retention, useful for cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, jaundice, and rheumatism.
Echinacea stimulates blood cells in the liver, has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties and is good for the immune system and infectious illnesses. Not for prolonged use.
Astragalus acts as a tonic to protect the immune system, provides energy to combat fatigue, good for immune-deficiency-related problems, promotes production of interferon. Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that helps the adrenals balance.
Olive leaf is good to modulate blood pressure and is an antibacterial, antiviral and antiparasitic substance. In clinical studies it was found to be effective against 98% of all bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections treated.
Ginseng helps the flow of the liver fluids, enhances immune function, useful for circulatory problems and is helpful for lack of energy and stress.
Nettle is an expectorant, pain reliever, contains vital minerals that are essential in many disorders, and is good for inflammatory conditions, anemia and arthritis.
Red Clover Bloom is a blood purifier and cleanser that is great for liver disease and weakened immune systems.
Sassafras is yet another blood purifier, liver cleanser, tonic for stomach and bones that also relieves gas and colic, spasms.
Yellow Dock acts as a blood purifier and cleanser, improves liver function and is good for anemia and liver disease.
Tea for the liver:
Headaches are often a sign of toxic liver burden. Detoxing the liver is essential to stave off headaches from metal and other toxic burdens.
Peppermint tea: Though there have been no clinical trials on the health benefits of peppermint tea, peppermint tea has menthol which naturally helps detox the blood and unburden the liver. It is also great for IBS, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, asthma, stress, colds and bad breath.
Clove tea has eugenol which is highly aromatic and boosts the body's ability to resist toxicity from environmental pollutants while working as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body and in the liver. Combined with zinc gluconate, clove tea helps restore teeth.
My favorite is Pau d’arco tea which is native to South America, where it has been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including pain, arthritis, inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis), fever, dysentery, boils and ulcers, and various cancers. According to Dr. Daniel B. Mowrey, "… researchers administered lapachol to patients with various forms of cancer, including adenocarcinoma of the liver, breast and prostate, and squamous carcinoma of the palate and uterine cervix… Taken orally, the substance resulted in temporary reduction of all conditions and in a significant reduction in pain…” Patients with liver cancer had a significant reduction in jaundice and signs of improvement after only eight days. One documented benefit of Pau d'Arco are that it is a hepatotonic - something which tones, balances and strengthens the liver.
Yerba mate’ has xanthins for fat metabolism and helps with treating fatty liver disease.
Herbs in the form of roots, seed and barks must be boiled at least 12 minutes to release their oil based constituents.
Acupuncture and acupressure!
For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has associated spring with the liver and gall bladder which work together for blood cleansing. After a long winter of working to keep our other organs and blood free of toxins, spring is the time to clean them out so they can function to their fullest.
This toxic world stresses our livers. Restoring a tired liver and maintaining its healthy cleansing functions are vital for overall health
Authored by Cancer Nutritionist Craig Stellpflug NDC, CNC
Dayspring Cancer Clinic Scottsdale, AZ
Copyright 2007 Craig Stellpflug© Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this article but only in its entirety
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